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Firewood elbow

NCPT

Love my saws
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
520
Location
NC
Never had a problem with pain in my forearms or elbows until I started cutting, splitting, stacking firewood two years ago. Doctors call it tennis elbow but I have never played tennis in my life. Already had two shots in each elbow within the last year because of the pain and I'm due another because the pain is creeping back.

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this? Will it get any better or any tips to make it better. I wear braces on my elbows now when I cut, split, stack and they help some. I'm really hoping it's just a little soreness and I'm getting stronger lol. I'm 35 yr old by the way. Thanks.
 
lead farmer

lead farmer

ArboristSite Operative
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
476
Age
53
Never had a problem with pain in my forearms or elbows until I started cutting, splitting, stacking firewood two years ago. Doctors call it tennis elbow but I have never played tennis in my life. Already had two shots in each elbow within the last year because of the pain and I'm due another because the pain is creeping back.

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this? Will it get any better or any tips to make it better. I wear braces on my elbows now when I cut, split, stack and they help some. I'm really hoping it's just a little soreness and I'm getting stronger lol. I'm 35 yr old by the way. Thanks.
I'm 52 and I hurt everywhere.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 
farmer steve

farmer steve

outstanding in my field, 5150
Joined
Feb 8, 2013
Messages
17,131
Age
65
Location
Stihl, PA
Never had a problem with pain in my forearms or elbows until I started cutting, splitting, stacking firewood two years ago. Doctors call it tennis elbow but I have never played tennis in my life. Already had two shots in each elbow within the last year because of the pain and I'm due another because the pain is creeping back.

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this? Will it get any better or any tips to make it better. I wear braces on my elbows now when I cut, split, stack and they help some. I'm really hoping it's just a little soreness and I'm getting stronger lol. I'm 35 yr old by the way. Thanks.
read up on this. check with your doctor before taking anything.
https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/arthritis-supplements#1
 
NSMaple1

NSMaple1

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
May 15, 2013
Messages
2,075
Location
Nova Scotia
I went through a bout of elbow bursitis a couple months ago, not wood related. I think that is what tennis elbow is. It was sore & swelled up like a tennis ball. Swelling went away in a week or so once I avoided what caused it. Still a bit of pain once in a while. Pain was real bad the first couple of days, but one ibuprofen just one night on the way to bed seemed to get rid of most of the pain - it made me sweat like a stuck pig though.
 
ChimneySmoke

ChimneySmoke

Firewood Hack Extraordinaire
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
25
Location
The Big Smoke, Ontario
Physiotherapy will help if isn't going away on its own. I also wear the brace and never let my elbow straiten out to the max when carrying something heavy. Vibrations from an older saw are a killer for me.
 
Jere39

Jere39

Outdoorsman and Pup
Joined
Mar 16, 2011
Messages
887
Location
PA
I'm still playing tournament and league Racquetball three nights a week, as well as 12-16 cord of firewood through the winter. I've had elbow tendonitis in my right elbow for years. I tried cortisone shots, and got temporary relief, but needed another every six months or so. I wear a tennnis elbow brace while playing RB, but rarely while splitting and or sawing. I've found that I can keep it under control for months at a time, but if I push too hard, strain it, or hyperextend it, I will be in for a month of rehab. Sadly, age has been the biggest source of chronic pain. I'm working on a theory: once I passed about 58 every strain, sprain, hyperextend, whether elbow, wrist, knee, shoulder, or ankle never really heals. It just settles into a period of "ok" only to return when least convenient. Good luck.
 
sirbuildalot

sirbuildalot

ArboristSite Guru
Joined
Dec 16, 2015
Messages
798
Location
New England
Connective tissue inflammation is common when overuse occurs. In this case most likely do to the repetitive motion of doing the same thing over and over for hours on end.

Are you hand splitting?

I'd start by getting timber tongs to pick up the wood. I'd also consider getting a machine to split the wood.
 
Streblerm

Streblerm

Addicted to ArboristSite
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
2,083
Location
Akron, OH
I found one thing that helped me was to stop handling pieces of wood one handed. I am strong enough to grab pieces by the end and toss them but that was really hard on the elbow. The combo of squeezing the piece and pivoting my wrist really stressed a tendon in my elbow. Changing my habit to using two hands to pick up and toss splits really helped. Unfortunately it took a long time to heal. It was so bad for a while I couldn’t hardly swing a hammer or drink a beer.

Whatever hurts your elbow, figure out a new way to do it so it hurts less or not at all. After changing some habits I haven’t had problems for a couple years.

The bands that go around your forearm did help some but my arms are pretty big. To get one that fit I had to get one for your knees. I’m not sure what I’ll do if I get firewood knee.
 
ChoppyChoppy

ChoppyChoppy

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Joined
Jun 17, 2013
Messages
9,863
Age
37
Location
AK
I'm not looking forward to getting old.

I'm in my mid 30s and the weather plays hell on my back, knees and hands. Some days it takes me a good 3-4 hours before I'm going pretty decently.

Couple years ago I had a back MRI (broke some vertrbrae). They called to reschedule, said it hadn't come out right.

Re-did and a few weeks later met with the Dr to go over.

Well... the first go around was correct. It's just that they were pretty sure something got mixed up. I have arthritis in my back on the level of someone that would be in their 70s.
 
Hand Splitter

Hand Splitter

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
79
Age
44
Location
SD
My elbows get pretty sore for a couple days after long boughts of hand splitting, but usually goes away with some rest and ibuprofen. I’m 42 but I workout hard when I’m not working firewood which helps out a ton with soreness and over use injuries due to CSS.

Cortisone is only a temporary fix. Since you’ve already had a couple shots your probably best off changing your methods like others said. Might want to consider a splitter and 2 handed work. I also find that grabbing splits one handed is very hard on wrists and elbows.

Best advise is follow a physical therapy program and get on a strength training program!
 

NCPT

Love my saws
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
520
Location
NC
Thanks for the replies. I have tried braces and those straps also, they help but I still have it. I got a splitter, but several mentions of grabbing splits one handed may be the main cause....just thinking about doing it hurts lol.
 
Hand Splitter

Hand Splitter

ArboristSite Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Messages
79
Age
44
Location
SD
Thanks for the replies. I have tried braces and those straps also, they help but I still have it. I got a splitter, but several mentions of grabbing splits one handed may be the main cause....just thinking about doing it hurts lol.
How often (once a week/ once a month) and how long per day (1 hr 2 hr etc.) do you get to CSS? Do you exercise at all when you are not CSS? How much physical activity does your day job require?
 
Jake197

Jake197

ArboristSite Lurker
Joined
Jan 30, 2019
Messages
16
Age
32
Location
Connecticut
Never had a problem with pain in my forearms or elbows until I started cutting, splitting, stacking firewood two years ago. Doctors call it tennis elbow but I have never played tennis in my life. Already had two shots in each elbow within the last year because of the pain and I'm due another because the pain is creeping back.

I'm wondering if anyone else has experienced this? Will it get any better or any tips to make it better. I wear braces on my elbows now when I cut, split, stack and they help some. I'm really hoping it's just a little soreness and I'm getting stronger lol. I'm 35 yr old by the way. Thanks.
Tennis Elbow usually refers to lateral epicondylitis. It's usually caused from overuse to the forarm extensors. I am NOT a doctor but would put my paycheck on it being from your forarm flexors being tight from gripping logs; this condition is commonly called golfers elbow, or medial epicondylitis. Massage and/or PT should get it in check. Ice and stretch when you get in from cutting/stacking/splitting. Again, not a doctor, but these are the steps I would personally take. Best of luck!
 

NCPT

Love my saws
Joined
Jan 31, 2018
Messages
520
Location
NC
How often (once a week/ once a month) and how long per day (1 hr 2 hr etc.) do you get to CSS? Do you exercise at all when you are not CSS? How much physical activity does your day job require?
Usually one weekend a month during cooler months of fall and winter. Most of my exercise comes from work. I do sheetrock for a living, but I dont get pain from it like I do when handling firewood or running a saw.
 
rwoods

rwoods

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Joined
Feb 22, 2010
Messages
6,258
Location
Tennessee
Probably not what you want to hear, but the first time I had it, it took over six months before I recovered. Even shaking hands was a killer; I do a lot of that in my work. Grabbing most anything with my arm extended was very painful. There was no working through it. Once I got to the point it hurt too much to use my arm to reach and grasp with my hand, it started to get better. The next time it popped up I immediately stopped doing anything that was painful - the pain left in about a week. Don’t know if you have the option to take this course, but if you do then my advice would be to take it.

Ron
 
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